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September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Sep


helloseptember-sept2016“The breezes taste of apple peel. The air is full of smells to feel. Ripe fruit, old footballs, burning brush, new books, erasers, chalk, and such. The bee, his hive, well-honeyed hum, and Mother cuts chrysanthemums. Like plates washed clean with suds, the days are polished with a morning haze.” (John Updike, September)



“We’ve got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible, because we are still each other’s only hope,” James Baldwin said to Margaret Mead in a historic public conversation in New York City, August 25, 1970 … The twin beams of light emitted each September 11, as transcendental as any symbol of remembrance can ever be, depicts the timeless hope of which James Baldwin speaks.


freddiemercuryasteroid-sept2016-2-use“A shooting star leaping through the sky, Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity…Burnin’ through the sky yeah” … An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to honor what would have been his 70th birthday. Asteroid “Freddiemercury” is “burnin’ through the sky” in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. Per Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist as well as an astrophysicist, “It’s just a dot of light but it’s a very special dot of light and maybe one day we’ll get there.”


Former Hollywood screenwriter Craig Carlson, with no restaurant experience, recounts his dream of opening an American diner in Paris, Breakfast in America, and turning it into a popular restaurant chain in the heart of Paris.

“After a year in France, I was dying for a good ol’ American breakfast. [Back in LA] I ordered a ham steak, scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, and buckwheat pancakes. I stared at it wide-eyed and said, ‘Oh my God, this is the one thing I missed when I was in Paris!’ At that instant a year’s worth of eating French breakfasts replayed before my eyes. But the problem was that every breakfast was exactly the same. Croissants and pains au chocolat, croissants and pains au chocolat. I stared down at my pancakes…my heart racing as I repeated the phrase: ‘The one thing I missed in Paris’…I knew exactly what I wanted to do: open an American diner in Paris! I even knew what I was going to call it: Breakfast in America.”


dylangate-sept2016Did you know that Bob Dylan liked to sculpt enormous iron gates? Yes, it’s true. After all, he was born and raised in iron ore country in Minnesota. He just built a 26×15-foot iron gateway for the MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland. Called Portal, it incorporates found objects, farm equipment, kitchen utensils, and tools … Per Dylan: “Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed, but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways, there is no difference.” Whoa, that is so Dylan.


wellsfargo-nea-sept2016Here’s a real head-scratcher. Seems that the Wells Fargo financial services company thought this was a good idea. Picture this. A smiling young woman with the caption: “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today.” And the tag line: “Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” Although they were taken to task for this tasteless ad campaign that they subsequently abandoned, how was it ever approved? The arts and those who choose to be artists are to be cherished, enjoyed, and encouraged. Hey, Wells Fargo, learn something about the arts from the National Endowment for the Arts and put aside some ad dollars for a donation. It’s the arts that fulfill promises and make life grand.


awesome-sept2016-newsWords enable us to communicate with each other. What powerful tools they are! But changes in language and in people, including interpretation, people adapting language to fit their needs, societal changes, and shifting pronunciations, affect the meaning of a word over time. Let’s look at the evolution of the word awful: In Shakespeare’s time awful had the complimentary meaning of “full of awe.With the suffix –ful, awful means having the quality of awe. Its meanings include being worthy of, commanding profound respect or reverential fear, which may have led it to mean causing dread. So over the centuries, awful took on a negative quality – frightful, ugly, monstrous. Then awful was eventually replaced with today’s positive awesome. Note that the suffix -some is basically the same as –ful in its meaning. Since awful had such a strong negative connotation, awesome was used meaning “awe-inspiring” without the negativity. By the mid-1900s awesome went from awe-inspiring to its ubiquitous use today meaning amazing. Okay, so awesome may have reached its cultural saturation point, but its history is nonetheless awesome, right?


blackmuseum-baldwinquote-crA new major museum is always worth celebrating! Just opened is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in the heart of Washington DC. Its very design is crucial to the story it tells. From its lowest floor depicting the history of slavery, each ascending floor follows the journey to the civil rights movement and up to “A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond” and President Obama’s inauguration.


eightdaysaweek-sept2016In the new documentary, Eight Days a Week, director Ron Howard examines the Beatles’ touring years. Of note, we learn that in 1964 when they reached the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL, seats were segregated. They refused to perform until the venue was integrated, gaining a victory for civil rights. “We played to people. We didn’t play to those people or that people – we just played to people,” so said Ringo.


maxskcauction-bruce-sept2016Cool pic of The Boss, right? Unless you’ve read Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin’s High On Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max’s Kansas City (see May 2016 Newsletter), you’ve never seen it. Taken upstairs at Max’s Kansas City backstage by Lily Hou in 1973, it was one of many great items up for auction to benefit Yvonne’s arts non-profit, Max’s Kansas City Project, which provides artists grants of emergency relief for housing, medical, and legal aid.


dognews-911dogs-sept2016Barkley’s incredible veterinarian Dr. Amy Attas (as well as Buddha’s and Skeffington’s!) volunteered to care for the heroic rescue dogs at ground zero. Dr. Attas and her colleagues listened to the handlers while their dogs were being treated for cuts, burns, and dehydration, prompting the vets to ask psychologists to sit with them. “A lot of the handlers told us that their dogs were really depressed, because they were search and rescue dogs and they weren’t finding anybody,” Dr. Attas told NBC News.


9-11stairs-sept2016The Vesey Street stairs, on site at the 911 Memorial Museum and now known as Survivors’ Stairway, is the sole remainder above ground of the World Trade Center. Gazing at it, one visualizes all those people running down them seeking safety and escape with fervent hope that they make it out. The 9/11 Memorial Museum documents the impact of 9/11 and explores its continuing significance. There we bear witness to a collection of artifacts that remind us of the people we lost and the brave souls that heroically went in to help, to save, to do their job. It is a place of commemoration.  Make a monetary donation or you can make a contribution to the collection such as pics, videos, voice messages, personal effects, workplace objects, and diaries.

wecanhelp2-doghope-aacr-sept-2016Fact: Animals have a positive effect in helping people cope with traumatic events. HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response teams have been responding to crises and disasters since 2001, when they sent specially trained handlers and their dogs to provide comfort at ground zero in NYC. They calmed survivors and helped first responders and other workers relax and talk about their experiences, just as you see Tikva here at work. HOPE has since responded to major hurricanes, wildfires, train derailments, and school shootings. An all-volunteer organization, your donation helps them continue training and certifying new crisis teams.

Soundtrack to this Issuesoundtrack-highhopes-teleBruce Springsteen’s High Hopes

Happy Birthday to the Boss. And what a way to celebrate. Four hour concerts! A book! A book tour! A new album! … Along with his captivating, candid, and poignant memoir, Born to Run, is a compilation album Chapter and Verse which features 18 songs that reflect the themes and sections of the book and includes five unreleased songs … High hopes is surely what we are feeling, so here’s the title track from the High Hopes album:

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don’t you know these days you pay for everything 

Got high hopes
I got high hopes
Got high hopes
I got high hopes

Who rescued whom?
At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


James Baldwin quote: A Rap on Race (J. B. Lippincott; 1st edition, 1971)
Freddy Mercury lyrics: Don’t Stop Me Now by Freddie Mercury ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Brian May quote: The Guardian, September 5, 2016
Book quote: Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson Page 42 ©2016 Sourcebooks
Dylan’s gate pic and quote: Forbes, September 7, 2016
Dr. Amy Attas, DVM quote: NBC News/New York, September 11, 2016
Tikva at Ground Zero, NYC, 2001 pic:
Soundtrack High Hopes lyrics: Timothy Scott McConnell ©Universal Music Publishing Group

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Sep



Keith’s first solo album in over two decades, Crosseyed Heart (Republic Records), has a little of everything. Rock, blues, country, reggae – the rootsy sound we expect from him, instantly recognizable. Oh, and it was recorded on analog tape. Nice! … On songwriting, he says, “In the right mood and with the right instrument, there’s a certain feeling of being an antenna, receiving and then transmitting.” … And if you haven’t already guessed, my fave Keith album is Talk Is Cheap. Words to live by.

DarleneLove.Album.Sept2015You already love her. You heard her sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) every Christmas on the David Letterman Show. This new Darlene Love album is something to celebrate! And we have Steve Van Zandt to thank. He produced a huge sound to complement Darlene’s rich voice, and he asked friends to write songs. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Linda Perry and Jimmy Webb. In fact, Costello’s Still Too Soon To Know features a duet vocal by Bill Medley … And if you still haven’t seen the Oscar-winning doc, 20 Feet From Stardom, do it. See and hear how great this lady is and always has been.



At a ceremony before The New York Philharmonic’s Opening Gala Concert, Avery Fisher Hall became David Geffen Hall, in honor of Mr. Geffen’s $100M gift toward renovating the hall … Also honoring the Gala Concert, an annual major NYC event, the Empire State Building went Philharmonic Red!


“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” … Maya Angelou died last year, her Harlem home filled with paintings and wall hangings. Part of her art collection, about 50 works, just sold for nearly $1.3 million. Her son, Guy Johnson, wrote in the auction catalog, “For my mother, paintings, sculpture, dance and music were ways of translating the intangible into digestible bites; these forms of art were ways of expressing feelings and emotions that resisted the confinement of words…Just as Dr. Angelou continues to serve as a source of inspiration for countless artists, writers and performers, she also found inspiration in the works of others.” … The painting here is by Bernard Casey (1939 – ). It is titled Music and Fruit (Songs in Eden), an acrylic on cotton canvas, circa early 1970s. Let’s see, musical notes in colorful hearts? What’s not to like.



We take note of three auspicious birthdays … Happy celebratin’, Stephen King, turning 68 on September 21. And the nice present he got from President Obama the previous day was the National Medal of Arts … Having just celebrated Born To Run’s 40th anniversary, now it’s the Boss’s turn. Happy 66th birthday to Bruce Springsteen, on September 23 … And Freddie Mercury, born September 5, 1946 (died November 24, 1991). Forever and always, our Champion of the World.


WeCanHelp.ASPCA.CAwildfire.Sept2015The raging wildfires in California have destroyed homes and caused thousands of residents to flee. While firefighters fight the blazes, people have been evacuated from their homes, putting many pets’ lives in jeopardy. The ASPCA has stepped in to help save badly burned animals, check for pets and livestock left behind, and shelter displaced animals in the ASPCA’s 30-foot disaster response trailer customized to house animals in emergencies. So far, 203 animals, including dogs, cats, goats, pigs, and horses, have been rescued and brought to safety; and 37 animals have been reunited with their families after being separated during emergency evacuations. Our donations can provide much-needed assistance during this critical time.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Meatloaf.GreatestSummerSong.September2015Greatest Song of the Summer of 2015?
Meat Loaf’s You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
From Bat Out of Hell (Epic Records/CBS Inc. 1977)
As voted on by Ultimate Classic Rock’s listeners.

Another September birthday boy, Meat turned 68 on September 27! Hey, more great news! Meat is back in the studio with Karla and Ellen. Could this mean another epic Steinman song?

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

You hold me so close that my knees grow weak
But my soul is flying high above the ground
I’m trying to speak but no matter what I do
I just can’t seem to make any sound

And then you took the words right out of my mouth
Oh, it must have been while you were kissing me
You took the words right out of my mouth
And I swear it’s true
I was just about to say I love you


Who rescued whom?

???????????????????????????????So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Keith Richards quote: NY Times, September 17, 2015
Avery Fisher Hall pic: AP
Guy Johnson catalogue quote: Swann Galleries, September 15, 2015
Best Song of Summer 2015 pic: Ultimate Classic Rock
You Took the Words lyrics: Jim Steinman ©1977 Edward B. Marks Music Corp., Neverland Music Company, and Peg Music Co.

August Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Aug



“Whether it was money, gangbanging, crack, LAPD and eventually AIDS — everything in the world came down on this group. What did we combat all that with? We had music. We had lyrics. We had hip-hop.” (Ice Cube)

You’d think the film Straight Outta Compton was based on today’s headlines. But it started in the 1980’s when five friends in Compton, CA, a city in south-central L.A. with drugs, crime, street gangs, and a high murder rate, formed a group and told their story. This biopic about the groundbreaking hip-hop group N.W.A. (original members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube are producers) beat all expectations, debuting at #1 … Their debut album of the same name marked the beginning of gangsta rap, hitting at real-life issues – racial profiling and police brutality. Rolling Stone cited the album as one of hip-hop’s most crucial albums, calling it a “bombastic, cacophonous car ride through Los Angeles’ burnt-out and ignored hoods.”  … With funky, bass-driven beats and explicit controversial lyrics, they left a lasting legacy on hip-hop music. The stories they were telling in the album were relevant then and resonate still – in this new film as well as in tonight’s evening news.


And hip-hop made it to Broadway, too. Hamilton, opening to record-breaking advance sales, is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Real history with a real hip-hop score. Sure, it’s about the birth of our nation. But its world of politics with rivalries, self-interest, integrity, even a sex scandal, mirrors our own state of the union, centuries later. Another example of hip-hop storytelling that’s historically significant yet pertinent today.


Did you have one of these?BeatlesShea.August2015.ticket

BeatlesShea.August2015August 15 marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium. In front of 55,000 screaming fans, the largest crowd in music history at the time, they were introduced by Ed Sullivan: “…honored by their country, decorated by their Queen, and loved here in America, here are the Beatles.” Then they ran on stage to open the concert with Twist and Shout.


A good song makes us feel better, right? According to new research, patients who listened to music were less anxious after surgery and needed less pain relief. In fact the lead author, Dr. Catherine Meads, said Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon helped soothe her pain after hip surgery … Dr. Hazim Sadideen from University Hospitals Birmingham also researched the role of music, “Undertaking both minor and major surgery can induce stress. Music can be used…to improve the patient journey…” … So doctor, what do the tests show? Listening to music before, during, and after an operation can help reduce pain. That’s a relief … And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear, You shout and no one seems to hear, And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”

BABY WE WERE BORN TO RUNBornToRun.ColumbiaRecordsAd.1975

“The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves, like a vision she dances across the porch, as the radio plays…” … So starts Born To Run, August 25 marking 40 years it hit record stores. This is the original Columbia Records ad. Special place in my heart, my record company (CBS Records) and recording studio (Record Plant) alma maters. One happy tramp.

DOG NEWSStraightOuttaCompton.Westieland.8.9.15

Turns out, August 15 is an auspicious date. It also marked Clear the Shelters day. About 7.6 million animals enter shelters across the country each year, 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats, according to the ASPCA. Waiving most or all adoption fees, 400 animal shelters nationwide took part in the one-day event. An initiative by NBC-TV stations to help get cats and dogs waiting for new homes successfully adopted, the result? Over 19,000 adoptions and still counting! Westie Rescue Barkley straight out approves.


WeCanHelp.USWarDogs.August2015Let’s show our love and appreciation for the military working dogs, who are highly trained to work side by side with their handlers in war zones as trackers or sentries, in search and rescue, and explosive detection. The U.S. War Dog Association has been sending care packages to military dogs all over the world, all year round, since 2003. You can send specific items needed by the dogs, such as cooling vests and mats, nail clippers, brushes, combs, Kongs and other heavy duty chew toys, doggles, collapsible nylon dog water bowls, and dog shampoo and treats (made in the USA only). Or you may make a financial contribution.


Soundtrack to this IssueSoundtrack.NWA.August2015

NWA’s Express Yourself
From Straight Outta Compton (Priority/Ruthless 1988)

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

I’m expressin’ with my full capabilities,
And now I’m livin’ in correctional facilities,
Cause some don’t agree with how I do this.

I get straight, meditate like a Buddhist,
I’m droppin’ flava, my behavior is hereditary,
But my technique is very necessary.

Blame it on Ice Cube…
Because he says it gets funky
When you got a subject and a predicate.
Add it on a dope beat
And that’ll make you think.

Express yourself…
Express yourself…
Come on and do it…


Who rescued whom????????????????????????????????

So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Ice Cube quote: LA Times, Lorraine Ali, July 30, 2015
Straight Outta Compton album review: Jon Caramanica, Rolling Stone, September 30, 2002
Beatles at Shea pic: Copyright holder unknown. (Beatles Rarities)
Music and surgery quotes: Brunel University and Queen Mary University of London music during surgery study
Brain Damage lyrics: Roger Waters ©Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd., TRO-Hampshire House Publishing (Dark Side of the Moon, EMI 1973)
Born To Run ad: Sony Legacy Records
Thunder Road lyrics: Bruce Springsteen ©1975 Laurel Canyon Music Ltd.
Adoption results: Clear The Shelters
We Can Help pic: The U.S. War Dog Association, Inc.
Express Yourself lyrics: O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Charles W. Wright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

July Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

30 Jul



“My religion is kindness.” … During her set at the Glastonbury Festival, Patti Smith surprised concertgoers bringing out the Dalai Lama so everyone could wish His Holiness a happy 80th birthday. “We are grateful to him for all his love of humanity and making people aware of the importance of saving the planet,” Smith said before leading the crowd in singing Happy Birthday To You. … Also in honor of his birthday, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Lorde, etc. contributed to the Art of Peace Foundation’s Songs for Tibet II, a tribute album celebrating the Dalai Lama’s philosophy of peace, non-violence, and compassion.




Have you gone to the Metropolitan Museum yet? Run to see these four paintings completed by Vincent Van Gogh before he left the asylum at Saint-Rémy. Never before shown together, the Irises and Roses exhibit features the Met’s Irises and Roses shown alongside their long separated mates: Irises from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and Roses from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Due to the light-sensitive pigments, it is noteworthy to see how the once vibrant colors have faded with time. Catch it before the show closes August 16.



Sneakers.AdidasRUNDMC.July2015Sneakers as art? The Brooklyn Museum’s The Rise of Sneaker Culture show is the first exhibition to explore the social history and cultural impact of sneakers. You’ll see the oldest existing running shoes from the 1860s, 1917 Chuck Taylors, Keds from the 1920s, and the first editions of Nike Air Jordans. Did you know that in 1986 Run–DMC invited Adidas execs to their Madison Square Garden show where they performed their hit, My Adidas? Well, Adidas gave them a sneaker deal! The show will make you wish you’d saved your Reebok Freestyles from the 1980s. It closes October 4.



BEETLEJUICE.July2015Yes, really. For Lincoln Center’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton concert series, film composer and Oingo Boingo frontman, Danny Elfman performed the scores from his three-decade collaboration with the director. It started with his first movie score for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. Then came Alice in Wonderland, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and of course, Beetlejuice. They did 15 scores together, so what do they have in common? Elfman says, “We both loved every horror film made in the 60’s and the 70’s. His idol was Vincent Price, mine was Peter Lorre. It kind of defined us for the next 30 years: Evil mastermind tortured doomed souls, both misunderstood.” There is a fun atmosphere watching concertgoers show up as their favorite characters, but it’s truly the melding of these two artists’ weird, witty, and altogether delectable creativity that is celebrated.



BroadwayBarks.July11.2015Dogs took over Shubert Alley for the 17th annual Broadway Barks, featuring adoptable pets from 28 shelters throughout New York. Founded by Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters, and produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, more than 250,000 dogs and cats have found permanent homes since the first event in 1999. Co-hosted by Peters and Andrew Rannells, cast members from almost every current Broadway show came out to show support.



ASPCA.2016CalendarCoverGirl.July2015Sponsoring Broadway Barks was the ASPCA. Not only fighting animal cruelty and abuse, lobbying for animal welfare, and promoting adoptions, the ASPCA website offers helpful tips on caring for your companion … Meet the winner of the 2016 Calendar Cover Pet contest. Dharma was found on the roadside. Having just given birth, the puppies were not there and she had clearly been abused. After her rescue and adoption, beautiful Dharma now enjoys road trips and hiking! … Celebrate adopted animals all year. Remember to order your 2016 ASPCA Calendar.


Soundtrack to this Issue


Don McLean’s Vincent
From American Pie (Capitol 1971) 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words: 

Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now, I understand, what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue


Who rescued whom????????????????????????????????

So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Dalai Lama and Patti Smith pic: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Beetlejuice pic: Everett Collection
Danny Elfman quote: Rolling Stone
Don McLean pic: Photograph: MediaPunch/Rex
Vincent lyrics: Enrico Nascimbeni, Don McLean, Roberto Vecchioni © Music Corp. Of America Inc., Benny Bird Co. Inc.

June Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

29 Jun


JamesTaylor.TimeMag.June2105“J” for James. His first album of new material in thirteen years, James Taylor brings us Before This World. “Purity of expression — it’s a rare and precious commodity in pop music, particularly in singing. After more than a decade of juiced-up vocal showdowns on TV, and more years of Top 40 crooners wallowing in melisma and melodrama, it is nothing short of a relief to hear a simple, moving lyric relayed simply and movingly.” Amen to that … JT believes in the power of live performance: “When you go to a concert with 2000 like-minded people and dedicate three hours to listening to a program that’s been made just for you, there’s some kind of common experience there that has real power, I think.” … And hard to believe, this is his first album to reach #1 on the Billboard charts!


Garcia+Hunter.1963.June2015Garcia+Hunter.SongwriterHall.June2015They met at a local production of Damn Yankees in Palo Alto when they were teenagers. Then Jerry Garcia formed the Grateful Dead in the mid-60s, and he wrote the band’s music and Robert Hunter its lyrics. You know the songs – Casey Jones, Sugar Magnolia (my fave!), Ripple, China Cat Sunflower, Uncle John’s Band, Truckin’ (recognized by the US Library of Congress as a national treasure!), Dark Star, Touch Of Grey, Friend Of the Devil, and on and on and on. Now they’re honored as new inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame … To commemorate the Dead’s 50th anniversary, the surviving “core four” members have reunited for its final Fare Thee Well concerts in Chicago and Santa Clara, CA … In September, they will release an 80-disc box set Thirty Trips Around The Sun (Rhino) featuring 30 unreleased live shows … “Truckin’ got my chips cashed in, Keep truckin’, like the do-dah man, Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.” It’s what they do best.

MUSIC APPRECIATION PART 1: LOVE AND MERCY Wilson was on The View to talk about his new album, No Pier Pressure and Love and Mercy, the new film portraying his life and music. Whoopie Goldberg asks him: “When you are writing music, one of the things we see in the film is music coming out to you sort of full. Very much like we’ve heard Mozart heard music. Do you still hear it that way?” Brian: “Sometimes I don’t hear it at all…Sometimes I can hear a full record produced by Brian Wilson.” Whoopie: “The piece that saved me was In My Room [tearing up] thank you for everything.” Thanks, Whoopie, you said it for all of us.


Lenny.June2015Conducting the New York Philharmonic in April 1972, Leonard Bernstein said of this photograph: “Taken at the Royal Albert Hall early in my career this image has always seemed to me to epitomize the inexpressible ecstasy that music can induce in both the listener and performer.” … Did you know that his dad discouraged him from pursuing music? Sam preferred he run the family’s hair and beauty business. It’s well-known that after his son’s famous Carnegie Hall debut in 1943, Sam was asked if it was true that he had refused to pay for his piano lessons. “Well, how was I to know he’d turn out to be Leonard Bernstein?” … It turns out, not so! From a letter just found from 1941, he secretly wrote to the future Maestro’s mentor, Serge Koussevitzky: “…from fatherly instinct [and] every outward indication, it is quite obvious that Leonard is…preoccupied with the work which he centers his every thought: MUSIC … I am appealing to you to find some opportunity for Leonard so that it will be possible for him to continue with his first Love: MUSIC … My chief concern is to find some haven for Leonard where he may continue with his work and know happiness.” … This Russian immigrant father wanted two things for his son: the American Dream and happiness.


MistyCopeland.June2015Love, fate, tragedy, forgiveness. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is the very definition of ballet. Performed by the American Ballet Theater at the equally celebrated Met Opera House, ovations went to Misty Copeland who made her New York debut in the lead dual roles of Odette and Odile. Sure it may be a historic moment in ballet, but really it’s just a great moment because Misty is simply just great.


DogNews.AKCbreeds.June2015The American Kennel Club added three breeds: the Berger Picard, the Lagotto Romagnolo, and the Miniature American Shepherd. Two are herding dogs from France and the US, and one a sporting dog from Italy. In fact, the Lagotto Romagnolo possesses a rare talent as the “only purebred dog in the world recognized as a specialized truffle searcher.” That can come in handy when you’re walking him in Central Park. Calling Chef Mario Batali!


Bono.June2015U2’s Bono revealed the reason for the sunglasses: he has suffered from glaucoma for two decades. It’s a disorder that causes damage of the optic nerve and can worsen over time. Bono plans to help battle unnecessary blindness in the developing world … According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation it is common in people over 60. Bono’s early diagnosis is rare and wearing sunglasses is a treatment and preventative action in itself. The GRF’s mission is to improve the lives of glaucoma patients and to fund innovative research to find a cure. There are 120,000 people in the US who are blind from glaucoma. Your donation will help them.

Soundtrack to this IssueSoundtrack.AmericanBeauty.June2015Let’s honor the Dead’s 50 years and Garcia + Hunter!
Grateful Dead’s Sugar Magnolia
from American Beauty (Warner Bros. Records 1970)

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Sugar Magnolia blossom’s blooming
Head’s all empty and I don’t care
Saw my baby down by the river
Knew she’d have to come up soon for air…

Sunshine daydream
Walking through the tall trees
Going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose
Breathing more freely
Light out singing
I’ll walk you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine daydream
Walk you in the sunshine


Who rescued whom????????????????????????????????So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


James Taylor’s Time Magazine March 1, 1971 cover credit: J. H. Breslow
James Taylor commentary quote: USA Today
James Taylor performance quote: USA Today
Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia pic #1:

Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia pic #2: Jay Blakesberg
Truckin’ lyrics: Robert Hall Weir, Jerome J. Garcia, Philip Lesh, Robert C. Hunter ©Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.
Leonard Bernstein pic: ©Clive Barda/ArenaPAL
Sam Bernstein quotes: Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, Spring/Summer 2015
Misty Copeland pic: ©Darren Thomas/QPAC
Dog News pic: AKC/AP
Dog News quote: AKC press statement
Bono pic: AP
Sugar Magnolia lyrics: Robert Hall Weir, Robert C. Hunter ©Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.

May Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 May


Prince! He performed his stand-alone Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore on Mother’s Day, with proceeds going to Baltimore youth charities. A shout-out for equal rights and justice, he performed a new song, Baltimore, released the day before the concert. “If there ain’t no justice, then there ain’t no peace.”


A new memoir from Willie Nelson, 82, is always refreshing, direct, and honest – like the man, and just like his music … You know his songs, Crazy (made famous by Patsy Cline) and On the Road AgainWillieNelson.Memoir.May2015On his songwriting process: “When songs fall from the sky,” Nelson writes, “all I can do is catch them before they land.” … On writing his song, Night Life: “I heard myself ruminating…It ain’t no good life, but it’s my life…It happened because I was living it.” … On the state of the music industry today: “The only money I’ve ever counted on is the money I make when you buy a ticket to my show. And if hearing my record on your laptop or your smartphone motivates you to come see me, I’m a happy man.” … And on recording: “Simplicity is always the key. Sing the song. Get out. My kind of singing isn’t meant to be perfect. It’s meant to reflect the imperfections of a human being like me.”

R.I.P. Part 1: B.B. KING

“The BB-King.died5.14.15Blues has lost its king and America has lost a legend,” said President Obama. Born Riley B. King in Mississippi to sharecroppers, B.B. King – B.B. for Blues Boy – passed away this month … Lucille, as all his black Gibsons were called, will be remembered right along with him … Asked to describe the blues, B.B. said, “It’s good for me when I’m feeling bad and it’s good for me when I’m feeling good.”


Bruce Lundvall, BruceLundvall.May2015.NYTimeswho headed Blue Note Records for almost 30 years, died on May 19. He was always generous to me, always kind. And boy did he love music and the artists he recorded … When I ensured Seagram a five-city multiple-venue summer jazz series with one major artist as the cornerstone artist to perform in all of the five cities, it was Bruce I called. I didn’t have to say much. We had a trusting longtime relationship since our days at CBS Records. All he said was, “Dianne Reeves.” And that was that. The Myers’s Rum Taste What’s Happening Jazz Series featuring Dianne Reeves was off and running! … Speaking of, he signed Willie Nelson, whose 1975 Columbia debut, Red Headed Stranger, is considered a modern classic … Bruce was one of a kind, well regarded by anybody who had the good fortune to know him. In a word: he was a mensch.


Following the WeCanHelp.NatlDisasterDogFnd.May2015.2deadly earthquakes in Nepal, U.S. teams on the ground in Kathmandu included 12 canine disaster search teams. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation recruits rescued dogs and partners them with first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. Rescued dogs turned rescuer! …

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing for the National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize military dogs return to the U.S. after their service ends so that veterans and their dogs stay together post service. The law at present doesn’t guarantee soldiers get their dogs. “Here we have a commonsense policy that is good for the animals that give it their all for America—and for the American heroes who love these dogs so dearly.”


“I thought Slash.May2015a great thing to do would be to try to raise more awareness in the U.S. about how significant the U.S.’s contribution to the ivory trade is because I don’t think a lot of people know what’s going on.” … Inspired by a trip to South Africa, iconic rock guitarist Slash’s new song, Beneath the Savage Sun, confronts the crisis of the ivory trade and brings attention to the plight of the elephants … It is written from the perspective of an elephant whose family has been wiped out …


In the field you hear us crying, For the ones we lost and loved, oh, ‘Cause the evil never stops, So we keep dying, Underneath the savage sun, Underneath the savage sun … How many bleeding and how many die?, All for the greed of an Ivory lie, When will they see what they’ve done is a lie, Blood that they spill could not be justified, How many bleeding and how many die?, Blood that they spill could not be justified.” …

Partnering with Slash to help protect the elephants and destroy the ivory trade is the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Proceeds of the sale of the digital downloads of the song go to IFAW. We must urge politicians and consumers to oppose ivory trade while elephants are still being killed for their tusks. Let’s support elephant protection efforts now!


Soundtrack to this Issue is
in honor of David Letterman:
Bob Dylan’s
The Night We Called It a Day
a single off his Sinatra-inspired album, Shadows in the Night.

Introducing Bob Dylan, his penultimate musical guest, David Letterman explains the most important things we need to know: “I spend a lot of time, like everyone does, driving around with my son, Harry, and sometimes you take an opportunity to teach him or reinforce things for him. And I say, ‘Harry, what are the two most important things to know in the world? One, you have to be nice to other people, and what’s the other one? The greatest songwriter of modern times is Bob Dylan.’ That’s all you need to know in life.”

C’mon, sing along:

The moon went down, stars were gone
But the sun didn’t rise with the dawn
There wasn’t a thing left to say
The night we called it a day

Take a listen to this classic classical performance from The Late Show with David Letterman: In 2004, 53 members of the New York Philharmonic played on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater. Maestro Lorin Maazel conducted Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.


Who rescued whom?


So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Prince pic: Schure Media Group
Prince lyrics: Prince ©NPG Records 2015
Willie Nelson quotes: It’s a Long Story: My Life, by Willie Nelson with David Ritz (Little, Brown 2015)
B.B. King quote: CBS Saturday Morning, May 16, 2015
Bruce Lundvall pic: NY Times, Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Sen. Schumer quote: Press release May 26, 2015
Beneath the Savage Sun lyrics: Saul Hudson and Myles Kennedy © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
We Can Help Slash video: Official IFAW video
The Night We Called It A Day: Tom Adair, Matt Dennis © Dorsey Brothers Music A Div. of Music Sales Corporation

November Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

29 Nov


Stevie Wonder honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom … Speaking of, he played his 1976US-POLITICS-MEDAL OF FREEDOM-STEVIE WONDER album Songs in the Key of Life from start to finish at Madison Square Garden … Billy Joel is the sixth recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Who also got this? Stevie Wonder … The Concert for Valor on Veteran’s Day in D.C. featured Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, and Metallica honoring our troops …Speaking of, Bruce releases new box set Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1, 1973-1984, includes re-mastered editions of his first seven studio albums, recreations of original artwork and a book of rare memorabilia … American Arts Trust launched the American Veterans Art Wall, a virtual wall where U.S. veterans can submit their own creative expressions … Queen Forever features three previously unreleased tracks with Freddie Mercury on vocals, including a collaboration with Michael Jackson … Joni Mitchell’s Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced FenderStrat.Nov2014contains 53 re-mastered songs spanning her career. “I am a painter who writes songs. My songs are very visual. The words create scenes.” … In her latest album, It’s The Girls, Bette Midler plays the music of girl groups like Be My Baby, One Fine Day, and You Can’t Hurry Love. Hurry and get it … Arlo Bloodhound.Nov2014Guthrie’s annual Thanksgiving concert at Carnegie Hall … Bob Marley tribute concert at the Apollo celebrates the 35th anniversary of his debut there … Guitars and good deeds: Fender Music Foundation benefit concerts provide instruments for classrooms and music therapy programs, City Winery hosts Guitar Mash, 350+ pros and amateurs perform together, raising money for music education concerts, and Wall Street Rocks concerts benefit ReserveAid, supporting reservists and National Guard members deployed abroad … Winner of the National Dog Show is Nathan the Bloodhound. “He kisses everybody he meets and doesn’t know a stranger – he makes me smile every day.”


Dead.Nov2014Great directors on great musicians: Martin Scorsese is producing a documentary on the Grateful Dead in honor of the band’s 50th anniversary. “The Grateful Dead were more than just a band. They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans. I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved.” … Ron Howard to direct a feature documentary on The Beatles, focusing on the period from 1960 to 1966. “These guys looked and sounded different, and were absolutely explosive to watch. The girls were screaming. It was this flash of genius and uniqueness, but they were also relate-able.” … In the Mick Jagger-produced Alex Gibney doc, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown about the Godfather of Soul’s life, career, and musical legacy, Jagger says he “tried to steal everything [from Brown] I could possibly do.”


“Here comes the sun…” So grateful for Barkley coming into my life. Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England. Who rescued whom?

NatlSearchDog.Oct2014National Disaster Search Dog Foundation raising money to build a permanent national training center for search dogs on 125 acres in California … PACT for Animals provides temporary, free, in-home foster care for the pets of deployed military personnel and hospital patients and their families … Pilots N Paws is a meeting place for those who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals.


Soundtrack to this Issue is
You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder
(Stevie Wonder performing at The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House,
celebrating Black History Month, February 24, 2011.)

C’mon, sing along:
You are the sunshine of my life
That’s why I’ll always be around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you’ll stay in my heart

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Stevie Wonder pic: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Bloodhound pic: AKC
Bloodhound quote: The Baltimore Sun
Grateful Dead pic:
Martin Scorsese quote:
Ron Howard quote:
Search dog pic: Search Dog Foundation
You Are the Sunshine of My Life lyrics: Stevie Wonder, writer/©Black-bull-music Inc., Jobete Music Co. Inc.

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Sep


Komorebi isSunlightFilterLeaves.Sept2014.stouttraveladventure Japanese for “the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees” from Lost in Translation, a collection of words without English counterparts … NYC’s CultureAID will prepare arts organizations for another Hurricane Sandy-like emergency … A newly discovered extinct swamp animal is named Jagger’s Water Nymph because its mouth structure is “a highly innervated muzzle with mobile and tactile lips.” … San Francisco’s Spoke Art Gallery pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s Kubrick.TracieChing.Sept2014glorious films with eye-catching artworks … Metallica made the Guinness World Records as the first rock band to perform on all seven continents … To celebrate the NY Philharmonic’s Opening Night Gala, the Empire State Building again glowed red … Hakuna Matata! Broadway’s The Lion King has the most box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history … New jukebox musical, Piece of My Heart, tells the story of Bert Berns who wrote Twist and Shout, Hang On Sloopy, and oh yeah, Piece of My HeartNY Film Festival’s celebration of the wit, intelligence, and strong women characters of Joseph Mankiewicz’s films includes All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives … Opening night at the Met Opera saw the return of James Levine leading the orchestra in a spirited and updated Le Nozze di Figaro. Bravo, Maestro! … George Harrison’s The Apple Years 1968-75 box set of his first six albums, digitally remastered from analog masters. Also an all-star tribute concert George Fest benefits the Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund … KeithRichards.GusBook.Sept2014Also new Beatles Mono Vinyl box set … lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Robert Plant’s 10th solo album inspired by blues, bluegrass, West African and world music, is “a kaleidoscope of sound, color, and friendship” … Introduced to music by granddad Theodore Augustus “Gus” Dupree, Keith Richards wrote Gus & Me, a children’s book with pen-and-ink illustrations by daughter Theodora … We lost Bob Crewe. You know his songs, the Four Seasons hits, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You … Also, Joe Sample, the Crusaders pianist, played funk, pop, dance, jazz, rock. “Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a lot of prejudice against the various forms of music. The jazz people hate the blues, the blues people hate rock, and the rock people hate jazz. But how can anyone hate music?” So true … And Bruce Springsteen turns 65. Born to run and still driving, searchin’, boppin’, and making magic. Happy birthday, Boss.


Who JoanRivers.9.5.14.CherEltonPeeWeewere Joan Rivers’ first guests on her Late Show Starring Joan Rivers? Cher, Pee-Wee Herman, and Elton John. Cool? Very … “I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” … Words to live by from a person who was always relevant, who always spoke the truth, and who was always funny. Amen.Joan+RUNDMC.Sept2014

As RUN-DMC’s agent, I booked them on the Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, where they performed Walk This Way in October 1986. And yes, Joan rapped with my guys: “Well, have you heard, I’m the first and number one, Not the best, not the worst, cause my name is Run, And I’m second cause I reckon that you want to see, An emcee like D inside the place to be, And have you heard he is third and his name is Jay.” And Joan raps: “I’m Mama Joan and I’m here to say, I got my own show and I’m here to stay!”


“My father established our Cosby.Sept2014relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, ‘You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.’” … In Cosby: His Life and Times (Simon & Schuster, September 2014), Mark Whitaker, longtime Newsweek editor and TV news executive, reveals the man we all think we know. Still travelling to do shows more than 30 weeks each year, Bill Cosby is a celebrity without entourage who carries his own bags and says hello to everyone. Mark will make you believe that the man we invited into our homes every week, the man who made us laugh at our own foibles, this groundbreaking comedian, is the approachable man we thought he was. Thank you Mark.


Sweet Relief Musicians Fund pSweetRelief.Sept2014rovides financial assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Donations help pay for an artist’s medical expenses, housing, food, utilities, clothing, transportation, programs, and counseling.jmj-foundation.Sept2014

Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, RUN-DMC’s DJ, died October 30, 2002. The Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music provides funding and resources to support free public school music education programs. Donate to continue Jay’s legacy of creativity, positivity and community support.


Soundtrack to this Issue is
Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen
From the album, Magic ©2007

C’mon, sing along:
I was driving through the misty rain
Searchin’ for a mystery train
Boppin’ through the wild blue
Tryin’ to make a connection with you

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Sun through leaves pic: Stout Travel Adventure
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World: By Ella Frances Sanders (Ten Speed Press, September 2014)
Jagger’s Water Nymph quote: Journal of Paleontology (September 2014)
Kubrick pic: Tracie Ching
Robert Plant quote: from Amazon editorial review
Joe Sample quote: Los Angeles Times (1985)
RUN-DMC and Joan Rivers rap: Jam Master Jay: The Heart of Hip-Hop by David Thigpen
Cosby: His Life and Times: Simon & Schuster (September 2014)
Radio Nowhere lyrics: © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

August Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Aug


Remember when you made your own mix tapes?GuardiansOfTheGalaxy.August2014.use Those were “best-of” times for sure. Well, all your faves are #1 now with the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack featuring “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Spirit in the Sky,” “O-o-h Child,” “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” Try to get any of those outta your head. You’re welcome … Great music at Bard, Mostly Mozart, Bargemusic, Saratoga, and Tanglewood summer music fests … Americanafest NYC is the first-time collaboration between Lincoln Center Out of Doors JanisJoplinStamp.August2014and the Americana Music Association, which promotes American roots music. Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, and Rosanne Cash were streamed live. “I like to say that if you can taste the dirt through your ears, that’s Americana,” so says the AMA’s director … The glorious Patti Lupone spent two weeks at 54 Below … Horrible things happen on The Leftovers, the HBO show based on Tom Perotta’s book. Don’t miss the always wonderful Marceline Hugot (y’know, 30 Rock’s hilarious, silent Kathy Geiss), Sadie.August2014.2crwho plays Gladys, a stalking, silent smoker. You heard me … Rockaway resident Patti Smith helped heal the Hurricane Sandy-struck Queens section with Rockaway!, a public arts festival … The USPS issued a Janis Joplin postage stamp … A pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1, which sold for 10 cents in 1938 and introduced us to Superman, was bought at auction for $3.2 million …. Westminster Kennel Club noted the passing of Sadie, the beautiful Scottish Terrier who was Best in Show in 2010. She had a great career, the only “triple crown” winner ever (Westminster, AKC National Championship, and National Dog Show presented by Purina) … And the Supermoon glowed bright and close above us.


Of RobinWilliamsanother super star, Billy Crystal said of his friend Robin Williams, his “beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever, the glow will be so bright it will warm your heart.” … I invite you to watch this clip from Inside the Actors Studio with Robin Williams. As James Lipton recalls, “I introduced him and…bedlam! Then he took off!” … Watch it and laugh. Even as the tears roll down your face. And be thankful he was even here on earth among us. Amen.


Cake.jeffkoons.August2014“Art has this ability to allow you to connect back through history in the same way that biology does. I’m always looking for source material.” … It’s a Jeff Koons summer in NYC. He is the subject of the Whitney Museum’s last retrospective at their Upper East Side home. Dogs and puppies, cats, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and a slice of cake. Something for everybody. There’s also his flower sculpture, Split-Rocker, sitting atop the plaza at Rockefeller Center.


There’s Book.SoulTrain.August2014still time to catch up on your summer reading, hey there’s always time for a good book. Here’s our highlights, most are by friends … Lisa Robinson’s There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and RollNelson George’s The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style … Holly George-Warren’s A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man … Paul Stanley’s Face the Music: A Life Exposed … And Gina Arnold’s Exile in Guyville.

WE CAN HELP’s not just about the GRAMMYs. Did you know in the past year, The Recording Academy’s MusiCares held 162 clinics for musicians in need including Safe Harbor Rooms, dental, hearing, vision, and healthy living workshops? To find an event near you go to the MusiCares Facebook page.


ASPCA.Colbie.August2014“I pledge to help rescue animals in need using my time, my voice and my resources so that every animal is safe and protected from harm.” … Make the pledge to fight animal cruelty. Join singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat in the ASPCA’s Come To Their Rescue effort to help abused and abandoned animals find their forever homes.


OohChild.August2014Soundtrack to this Issue is
O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps

C’mon, sing along:
Ooh, ooh, child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh, ooh, child
Things’ll get brighter

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Americana Music Association quote: NY Times, August 8, 2014
Robin Williams pic:
Billy Crystal quote: Emmy Awards, August 25, 2014, NBC
James Lipton quote:
Cake pic: Oil on canvas (1995–97) Private collection. ©Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons quote: Whitney Museum
O-o-h Child lyrics: Words and music by Stan Vincent/© EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

January Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

31 Jan


A new year brought a new Bruce Springsteen album. And it opened at #1 on Billboard. High Hopes indeed … The HighHopes.BruceSpringsteen.1.31.14New York Guitar Festival’s month-long celebration of all-things guitar included Guitar Marathon: Las Americas, which featured artists from Latin America performing a variety of styles, the Alt-Guitar Summit, a six-hour classical marathon, and the really cool Silent Films/Live Guitars, music to silent films featuring NY … Make Music Monthly, a series of talks with musicians at the Cornelia Street Café and on podcasts, debuted with a discussion of Charles Mingus’s two-hour work, Epitaph … NY Phil’s pianist-in-residence, Yefim Bronfman, played Greenwich Village basement space SubCulture … The 10th annual five-day NYC Winter Jazzfest featured a 75th anniversary concert at Town Hall for Blue Note Records and a takeover of Greenwich Village clubs … Rolling Stone scribe Will Hermes to write Lou Reed bio, potentially called, Lou: A New York Life … Beatlemania just starting: Capitol released The Beatles: The U.S. Albums, a 13-CD set … Neil Young played Carnegie Hall, where he made his solo debut in 1970 … We wish a speedy recovery to Maestro Kurt Mazur who had to cancel his annual Manhattan School of Music conducting seminar … Although he’s not retiring until June we begin bidding our goodbye to NY Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, who showed his chops in Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 3 and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. A great musician and a real nice guy. Bravo!


PeteSeeger.1.31.14One of a kind. Made a mark. Not just in music. But on culture and on society. Making peace was Pete Seeger’s message. And his mission. “The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.” He left us with Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, If I Had a Hammer, and Turn, Turn, Turn. And he also gave us his versions of This Land Is Your Land and We Shall Overcome. In Beacon you lived. And a beacon you were, and will forever be. Bless you and thank you, Pete Seeger. We remember you well.


Ceci n’est pas une pipe. You know the words. Better, you know the image.Magritte.The-Kiss.1951.1.31.14 The one and only René Magritte. MOMA’s celebration of the great Surrealist, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926-1938, finally came to an end. His art was representative, yet paradoxical, his images indelible. Even popular. That he shared the same name as my father made him my favorite. That he made me think, while appreciating the pretty pictures, only made me admire him more. What you see, well, is that what is?


ChimesOfFreedom.1.31.14The world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, Amnesty International, is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights. And music has played a big part in raising awareness and much needed funds, and inspiring others to care.

Donate or buy the Chimes For Freedom CD featuring Johnny Cash, Pete Townshend, Patti Smith, Pete Seeger and more singing Bob Dylan songs.

Soundtrack to this Issue is Pete Seeger singing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. From Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.

 Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Pete Seeger pic: Huffington Post, January 28, 2014
Pete Seeger quote: NY Times, January 29, 2014
René Magritte pic: The Kiss 1951

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